As a teacher, Ginna was a rarity. She was willing to allow her carefully crafted lesson plans -- always wisely titled "tentative plans" -- to be subverted in order to satisfy the intellectual curiosity of her students. She guided and directed, but she was flexible. She didn't view a student with an opposing argument as a threat to her authority, and her students learned much by being allowed this verbal exploration of ideas. There was much laughter in her classroom, and while parties occasionally replaced tests, her students moved on having truly learned what she sought to teach. Even today, when two or more former classmates are together, memories of her classroom can be evoked with a word or two, generally to much laughter.
Although she weathered more than her share of dark times, the strength so many admired in Ginna was born from those years of depression and struggle, as was her course for the last twenty-five years of her life. Her decision to go back to to school to pursue a Marriage and Family Counseling degree in the late 80s came from a desire to use her own experiences to help others emerge from their own hard times as free and confident people. She made a difference.
Ginna counted a fair number of her former students as close personal friends, not just as kids she had once taught. While she watched them grow up, when they became adults she viewed them as such and treated them accordingly.
Although with close friends she had a fair number of agreements to disagree, no subject was off limits for discussion. She knew that philosophical discussions were best held in the dark by an outdoor fire, and she was party to many such late night sessions.
And always there was that smile.
Contributed by Sammye Crawford